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Family Time is What You Make It

It’s easy to get busy and fail to spend enough time with those you love. I’ve done just that. This year has been so frantic for me that I haven’t spent much time with my family at all. I did something about that today.

I realized I’d only seen my sister three times this year and decided it was time to rectify that sad fact. So, I went to visit her today. I spent a couple hours at her house just shooting the breeze until my brother-in-law got home from work. Then the three of us visited for a while before we decided we should do something about dinner.

We ate a fabulous dinner and then got wild and crazy. We went to the grocery store. I know, we’re wild. They needed milk and eggs. I wasn’t ready to go home yet, and I was out of bananas. It seemed the logical course of action for me to accompany them to the store.

I’m glad I went with them. I had more fun at the store with the two of them than I remember having in a long time. They had me laughing through the whole experience. Keep in mind they live spitting distance of the Kansas state line and shop in Pittsburg, so this was not my ususal grocery store.

My brother-in-law can make looking at anything fun. We had deep discussion about Greek Yogurt versus French Yogurt and which brand is the creamiest. I laughed so hard looking at breakfast cereal with him that people were staring. He has a nose for the good stuff, though. He noticed a box of Peach Cheerios. Needless to say, those came home with me.

Perhaps it’s his artistic eye that makes him so observant. He points out random things I’ve never noticed before, such as dark chocolate hummus. I think it sounds terrible, but who am I to judge? I certainly like my fair share of odd things.

He found a giant box of instant hot chocolate mix and said, “I love hot chocolate. It’s so good.”

I watched him put the box of hot chocolate mix in the cart and replied, “Yes, it is. My werewolves all drink hot chocolate.”

He laughed, but I noticed an older lady in the aisle giving me a fearful look and carefully stepping around me. She made haste getting away from me. I guess talking about werewolves drinking hot chocolate did sounded funny, but my sister and brother-in-law knew I was referring to the werewolves in the novel I wrote. I didn’t bother explaining it to the stranger who is probably telling her friends about the crazy person she saw in the coffee and tea aisle right now.

My sister pointed out things we ate as kids that I didn’t even know were still on the market. She took me to the Little Debbie Banana Twins. We ate those things quite a bit in our youth. Then she really took me down memory lane when she said, “That’s the closest thing I’ve found to a Banana Flip.”

Banana Flip? I haven’t even thought about those things in probably 30 years. Our parents used to buy them for us on the weekends as a treat if our week had been especially busy or stressful. She told me how she’d love to have one again. We talked about it for a while, and now I also have a horrible hankering for a Banana Flip.

In case you’ve never heard of Banana Flips, they resembled giant tacos made of yellow banana sponge cake and filled with banana cream. The cake was moist, and the cream was light. They were large enough to fill our hands and keep us quiet for a while as we tried to eat them without squirting our banana cream out the bottom of the flip.

I’m going to make it my mission to find some Banana Flips if they are still made. I think a box of those would make a great surprise for my sister. Mom would probably enjoy one, too. I know I would sure love to have one.

It’s funny how I had such a great time with my sister and brother-in-law when we really didn’t do anything special. We talked, ate dinner, and went to the store. That’s what makes family great. Even buying eggs and milk can turn into a pleasant evening. Maybe next time we’ll bust out the Monopoly game and have some big fun.

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